Rovell: Everyone Relax About the Yankees’ Jersey Patch

Rovell: Everyone Relax About the Yankees’ Jersey Patch article feature image

Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images). Pictured: Aaron Judge.

New York Yankees fans woke up on Wednesday to a surprise — the team sold space on their uniform sleeve to a local insurance company.

It’s the first true adjustment the Yankees have made to their jersey in decades. The patch — which will feature prominently, home and away, on the left sleeve — will cost Starr Insurance roughly $25 million per season through at least 2031.

The way some fans reacted was as if the team changed its colors to Red Sox red.

The New York Yankees are proud to welcome Starr Insurance as our new signature partner.

— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 12, 2023

Yes, the Yankees have the most venerated uniforms in baseball. They shun alternate third jerseys and are the only team that doesn't have last names on the back of home or road uniforms.

But let’s not act like jerseys are some divine entity.

It’s sports. These pieces of laundry aren’t holy texts. There’s nothing sacred about them.

The same people who cried foul when soccer teams throughout Europe started slapping corporate names on the front of their jerseys in the 1980s and '90s now forget that was even an issue.

I’m old enough to remember when people pulled their money out of Comerica Bank to pressure the Tigers from changing the name of Tiger Stadium. Guess how that looks in history.

Besides, let’s not act like the Yankees are somehow bastions of anti-corporate morality. They’re the Yankees.

After every strikeout, the jingle from the electronics store P.C. Richard plays throughout the stadium.

Are we pretending Yankee Stadium doesn’t have the Stella Artois Landing, the Michelob Ultra Clubhouse, the Fresh Direct Terrace and the LG OLED Sports Lounge?

When a player hits a home run in Yankee Stadium, it goes over an outfield wall with more than 25 corporate logos on it.

Everyone relax. Breathe.

MLB won’t stop growing as a business any time in the near future. The only thing safe at this point may be the team names themselves.

So, if you do end up deciding to cut the left sleeve off your new Yankees jersey, remind yourself of this.

How dumb is that photo of you going to look in 20 years?

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